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Western Clarion Oct 1, 1920

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Array Yotir Sn^semm^'--  -
This   Issue
Please    Hem w.
A Journal of
Official Organ of
Number 828     Twice a Month
The Right of Property
m ftERTATNLY the most important of the legal
V> rights, from the point of view of economics,
is that of Property.
\ " The right of private property is the main
spring of the whole mechanism of distribution
(of wealth) in civilized societies."—Gide.
As we have already seen, there are concerned in
this right: —
1. The "subject" of the right, that is, the person
in whom the right of ownership is vested. This
may be either a natural person or a partnership, or
a corporation, which, by the act of incorporation
becomes a legal person empowered to hold property and other, rights and, in consequence, to sue
or be sufed. This person, whether natural or legal,
possesses the exclusive right to use and control—.
2. The ''object" of the right. This may consist
of tangible or intangible goods. Tangible goods
would be represented by such things as:—
Land, including water, minerals, timber, hunting
and fishing rights.
Slaves and. other working and domestic cattle.
Buildings, machinery, food and clothing.
Intangible goods would include such things as:
Franchises, eApyrsGhta, pateutrjghts, trade nw-V'v
"good-will" and special privileges of one kind and
Then there are stocks, bonds and shares—"credit
documents to bearer." These, of course, are not
themselves wealth but merely legal claims, or evidences of ownership. They are, however, of very
great and increasing importance in a society in
which "possession," properly so-called, is giving
place to mere ownership.   Then there is:—   .
3. The act or forbearance. This, in the case of
property, means that:—
4. The person or persons against whom the right
is effective must forbear from the use of the object
of the right, or forbear from acting in such a manner as to interfere with its use by the owner. This
means everybody else.
The whole thing boils down to the statement that
Property is a right of ownership vested in one man,
or set of men, as against the rest of society in respect of some object. In the words of Marx, it is a
"social relationship." The State conserves and enforces this right. A right without the might to
enforce it is no right at all. Consequently, the right
| lapses when the State withdraws its sanction, or
when the State is destroyed.
There is here no question of "moral rights."
These are alleged rights which have no legal sanction or what is left of a legal right upon the subtraction of the legal sanction. They are a matter
of ethics or sentiment and, for our present purpose,
may be disregarded.
Property may be legally acquired by purchase,
gift or inheritance. It may also be acquired by
chance or by theft which, while not always illegal,
are not generally recognized by law. These means,
however, imply the existence of property rights and
do not, therefore, account for them. It is the "original accumulation" for which we have to account.
In the last analysis property depends on posses-
^ sion: in the case of land, of occupancy. Possession
or occupancy was, as a rule, the result of appropriation generally accompanied by force. The fact of
possession is fortified by prescription. That is to
say that undisputed possession for a certain length
of time gives a legal right as, for instance, the
squatter's right. Then there is what the lawyers
call the right of accession by which
"Property in an object, whether movable
or immovable, gives a right to all that it produces, and to all that is connected with it acces-
'.sorily, either naturally or artificially."—Code
Civile, Art. 546.
This principle is so important that Prof. Jenks,
in his ''History of Politics," defines property as
"the right to absorb the various advantages (known
and unknown) which are derivable from a thing."
It is by virtue of this right that the land-owner may
claim any imporvements effected on his land or
huildings which may be erected by his tenants: that
the slave-owner took possession of the product of
the slaves' labor and of any children they might
procreate, and that the employer of labor owns the
wealth produced by his employees.
We see then, as the common saying has it, that
possession is nine points of the law. It is a fact,
however, possessing no moral value whatever. This,
of course, does not concern us but is, nevertheless,
a matter of some concern to the apologists of the
system. For this reason it has been sought to give
the right of property some kind of moral sanction.
We have, therefore, the doctrine of ''Natural
Right" now, as we have already seen, largely given
up. As to this it is sufficient to say that if property be a natural right then it would be possessed
by all men, which is notoriously untrue. If it be
answered that the right of property is merely the
right to possess property if one can get it, then the
doctrine of natural rights is abandoned.
Then, again, it has been attempted to show that
property is the result of labor. This also is untrue,
as it is notorious that those who labor do not possess, and that those who possess do not labor.
Lastly, there is the "Social Utility" argument.
That is to say, that it is in the interest of society
that private property, should exist. This, as we
have already seen, makes property a legal right resting on the general consensus of opinion.
In earlier times, as everyone knows, men acted
on the
"Good old rule, the simple plan,
That they should take who have the power,
That they should keep who can."
Property was then a matter of actual possession.
The owner of property had to occupy it and be prepared to defend it, arms in hand if necessary. The
rise and development of the State, however, changed
all this, and with the security thus brought about we
find that possession has given place to a form of
ownership depending on the possession of legal
documents validated by the State, which enforces the
due performance of the acts or payments indicated
therein. All of this made necessary a strong, centralized State which has made possible the change
from the "money economy" to the "credit economy" in which the exchange of values takes place.
It has also brought into being forms of property
by means of credit documents and book entries. It
has also brought into being forms of property undreamed at one time. Many of these are of a somewhat unstable nature, such as stocks, bonds and
shares, based as they often are on such intangible
forms of property as patents, copyrights, franchises, business "goodwill" and so forth. Nevertheless, these things give their possessors the power to
levy tribute upon the produce of labor to the extent of their claims.
It will be observed that while this question appears to resolve about the ownership of the land and
the accumulated "savings," more or less mythical,
of the capitalist class, it is, in reality, a question of
the claim of that class to the product of labor. As
we have seen, "the accessory follows the principle."
The wealth of the world is produced annually. The
machinery of wealth production must be continually
renewed from the same source. This applies even
to the land, apart from its attribute to mere extension (standing room).
In brief, the owning classes have a lien on the
entire product of labor extending to all eternity.
In late years this lien has grown to such an extent
that the entire annual product is inadequate to
meet the interest. This fact alone is strangling the
system. This explains why the capitalist class cries
out so insistently for increased production and greater economy —ron the part of the laborer .
It has probably never been true that "a man
could do what he liked with his own" and it is less
true now than ever. There are certain limitations
imposed by the State on the right of property, and
the number of these has increased greatly of recent
years .
There is the right of ''eminent domain," by which
the State may expropriate land or other property
for its own use or in the interest of some corporation.   There are taxation, fines and forfeitures by
which the State confiscates all or part of the property of its subjects.   Further, no man may keep
his property in a condition or use it in such a manner as to constitute a nuisance.   These considerations provide further proof that there is nothing
sacred about the right of property.     The State,
which has created these rights, finds it necessary '
to modify them in the interest of public necessities.
Society will have to do a lot more drastic work of
the same kind if it desires to avoid the fate predicated for it.
L. H. Morgan is his "Ancient Society":—        •*(
"The dissolution of society bids fair to become the termination of a career of which property is the end and aim; because such a career
contains the elements of self-destruction."
The capitalist class does not possess the grace
to choose the better part.   It is doubtful .if they
have the intelligence.     I rather suspect they may
not have the time. GEORDIE.
Following One Dollar each:—J. A. McD, C. C.
Wellerman, J. A. Lindberg, C. McMahon Smith, T.
W. Nevinson, Chinese Labor' Association, Ingwall
Stuve, R. Sinclair, C. Neil, John Bayson, Mrs. Griffiths, C. Woolings, D. Stewart, F. Custance.
Following Two Dollars each:—J. A. La Fleche,
A. Shepherd, Julius Mitchell, 0. Erickson, R. C.
McKay, M. Goudie.
J. Martin, Winnipeg, $3; R. Garden, 50c; W. Mc-
Quoid, 50c; E. D. Mitchell, $4; H. A. McKee, 50c.
Subscriptions received from 11th to 27th September, icnlusive, total, $34.50.
F. S. F., $1; Larson, $2; C. Neil, $7.25; C. K, $10;
J. Wardrope, $1.
Contributions received from 11th to 27th September, inclusive—total, $21. PAGE TWO
Economic Causes of War
Article No. 13.
THE geograwcil position of Persia, with its
valuable ' itr al resources, has made it a
bone of contention amongst the European Powers.
In the past she has contributed much to the world
in \philosophy. science and poetry, but for many
years the people have suffered beneath an Oriental
despotism. Until 1906 the Shah of Persia was an
absolute monarch. Some thirty years ago there
arose a band of reformers whose aim was to check
the extravagances of tlie Shah and to lend the country along the pafii of democracy. In 1891 an up-
riling occurred against the concession of a tobacco
monopoly to a British < ompany. As a result of this
agitation the concevsion was cancelled, but the
sum of $2,500 'V)0 v as demanded by the company
in compensation, which gum had to be borrowed
from the Bank oi Persia, u British owned concern,
at 6 per cent, interest.
The extravagance o° the Shrh continued, and in
1900, when Britain was busy vith the Boer War,
Russia sti-p >ed ir liussia wa>, at this time, borrowing r jney from France, and was thus able to
lend the Shah $;iL,000,000, at 5 per cent., on the con-
di m. however, that the previous debt to the Bank
of Persia should be paid off. Thus Russia substituted her influence in Persia for that of Britain,
and she strengthened her position two years later
by anotVv loan of $5,000,000 at 4 per cent- In
1905, the Si ah visited Russia and entered into a
secret agreement to -crush the reform movement
and re-establish his autocracy. This movement,
however, -was too .strong for him, and Russia, weakened by th 3 war with Japan, could not give him much
assistance. The people, through strikes and other
methods, compiled him to grant a constitution.
Russia al: > had internal troubles at this time. The
Persian th iament assembled in August, 1906, and
commenced to free Persia from the tentacles of
foreign finan ■ and to regain her independence. In
June, 1908, tin Shah dissolved Parliament and the
Parliament House was bombarded. After a year's
fighting, the Nationalists compelled the Shah to reconfirm the constitution of 1906, but it was unfortunate for their plans that between 1906 and 1908
Britain and Russia had arrived at a decision on how
to divide up Persia. lake all other treaties, this me
begins by both parties pledging to uphold the integrity and independence of Persia. Russia, thwarted in her Asiatic expansion by the Japanese War,
began to concentrate on Persia, and British gold
flowed ' ito the depleted Russian treasury, thus
helping to quell the Russian revolution of 1905.
On August 21st, 1907, Britain and Russia agreed
to respect the integrity aud iuu . 3ndence -of
Persia, but they both proceeded to partition the
country into spheres of influence for commercial
purposes. Gilbert Murray, in his book, "The Foreign Policy of Sir Edward Grey," in speaking of this
agreement, says: (1) "North pf a certain line Great
Britain gave an understanding to seek no political
or commercial conceessions and refrain fronuoppos-
ing Russia the acquisition of such concessions by
Russia." (2) "South of a certain line Russia gave
a similar undertaking to Britain." (3) "Between
these lines, which was a neutral zone, either countries could obtain concessions." (4) "Existing concessions to be respected." (5) "Should Persia
fail to pay her debts to either Power each power
reserved the right to pay itself out of the revenue
of its own sphere of influence." In addition to the
treaty Russia published a letter recognizing the
special interests of Great Britain in the Persian
Gulf, previously a place likely to cause a quarrel.
Persia was not a party to this convention. Her
people became alarmed, and to allay their fears,
Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, the British Minister at
Teheran, in a dispatch to the Persian Government.
September 4th, 1907, said: "The object of the two
Powers in making this agreement is in no way to
attack, but rath r to assure'forever the independ
ence of Persia, not only do they not wish to have
an excuse for intervention, but their object in these
friendly negotiations,was not to allow one another
1o intervene on the pretext of safe-guarding their
interests. The two Powers hope that in future
Persia will be forever delivered from the fear of
foreign intervention and be thus perfectly free to
manage her own affairs in her own way." Sir
Edward Grey, iii the British House of Commons,
February 14th, 1908, stated: "That their spheres
were not to be regarded as political partitions . . .
They were only British and Russian spheres in a
sense which is in no way derogatory to the independence and sovereignity of Persia."
Needless to say, Russia did not keep this promise.
The Shah, assisted by the Russian Colonel Liakhoff,
bombarded the Parliament and regained his autocratic rule with the full approval of the Czar. After a year's fighting the Nationalists won, and the
Shah abdicated. Russia promised to prohibit the
Shah taking part in any agitation against Persia,
but this promise was not kept. Russian troops were
poured into Persia on the pretext of protecting for-
eig lives, although no foreign lives had been lost.
Russia fomented internal rebellions ,and used them
as a prftext to send more troops. She forced the
Persian Foreign Minister to resign, because he would
not do their bidding, and combined^ with Britain,
prevented Persia from raising a loan excepting a
joint AngloVRussian loan involving terms inconsistent with her independence. They prevented Persia
from raising a loan through the London firm Selig-
mann, and from raising money on the crown jewels.
In 1911, Mr. Shuster, an American, was appointed
to the office of Treasr.rer-General, recommended by
President Taft. He arrived with a staff of American financial experts and began to place Persian
finances on a sound basis. This was the last thing
that Russia wanted and she Regan a movement
which succeeded in expelling Shuster. Sir Edward
Grey did not object. He wrote in Nevember 16th,
1911: "If they (the Russian Government) thought
that no satisfactory settlement could be reached
without the dismissal of Mr. Shuster*, I could urge
no objections." Russia delivered an ultimatum
to be complied with in 48 hours. It included the
dismissal of Shuster, the paying of the expense of
the Russian military expenditure in Persia, and
gave to M. Leocoffre the power to veto all appointments of foreigners made in Persia. Four days
later, on Persia appealing to Great Britain, Sir Edward Grey, whose heart beat then for Persia, as it
did later for Belgium, honored the Persian "scrap
of paper" by declaring: "That if the ultimatum
vere complied with at once, details might be arranged favorably afterwards."
Shuster went, and the Russians poured into
Northern Persia, and the "Manchester Guardian"
said of Grey's declaration: ''It is a standing invitation to Russia to do as she pleases, and she has
availed herself of it." The Russians executed every
Constitutional leader they could lay their hands on.
They hanged boys of twelve years of age, closed the
schools, suppressed the newspapers, laid the town
of Tabriz in ashes.
Russia and Britain forced Persia to conform to
the policy of the Anglo-Russian convention of 1907,
and to accept a joint loan at a high rate of interest.
It is impossible to excel the Russian atrocities in
Persia in 1912. R. G. Usher, in ''Pan-Germanism,"
sian immigrants into the country. Britain was to
prevent Germany from expanding in this direction,
and on pages 167-8, says, when speaking of Shuster ?s dismissal: "Certainly, for the moment at any
rate, the Baghdad Railway was outflanked and the
possible extension of the German commercial route
to the rich markets of the East was rendered for
the time being improbable."
Just before the war Russia began to introduce •
her administrative methods in Persia, bought np
large areas of land and directed swarms of Russian immigrants into the country.   Britain was to
obtain the neutral zone of Persia and to have a free.
hand in Northern Persia. The object of adding
the neutral zone was because of its valuable oilfields. The property of the Anglo-Russian oil
.Company lies in the neutral zone, and the company holds a concession which gives it the monopoly
of VdJ the oil-fields in Persia except those in the extreme north. The wells where the company has
been obtaining its oil are capable of producing
5,000,000 tons a year, so the chairman of thetom-
pany said at the annual meeting in August, 1918.
lie also stated: "After allowing for depreciation,
the trading profit was £1,516,994 3s. 9d." In 1914,
the British Government, through Churchill, purchased £2,200,000 worth of shares in this company.
Persia was asked by the Allies to remain Jieutral,
but she suffered severely from the fighting between
the Turks and Russians on Persian soil. With the
Russian revolution the hopes of Persia were renewed. The Bolsheviki repudiated the Anglo-Russian
convention of 1907, and announced their intention
of withdrawing Russia troops from Persia. Lord
Curzo, January 21st, 1918, said that: "The great
change by recent events in Russia has given to His
Majeesty's Government a welcomed opportunity of
testifying their sincerity in repudiating any hostile
designs on the integrity or political independence
of the Persian kingdom . . . We have informed
the Persian Government that we regard the agreement as being henceforth in suspense." The Persians, filled with hope, sent a mission to Paris to
get the Great Four to abolish "All treaties, conventions, etc., aimed at destroying Persian independence and integrity," but only to find that the doors
o£ the Peace Conference were barred. Three times
it is said, they appealed for a hearing and could not
get an audience with the Rulers of the World, and
whilst they waited ^it Paris, behind their backs the
champions of small nations concluded an agreement
which makes Persia a second Egypt, and Persian
independence a sham. The new agreement, which
got some stinging criticism from the French press,
as being done behind the backs of Britain's allies,
and as being against the principle of the League
of Nations, allows Britain to furnish expert advisers who shall be endowed with adequate power.
Britain also supplies officers, equipment, and ammunition for the army. She grants a loan of £%-
000,000 at 7 per cent., receives the security of the
Persian customs and other revenue, and co-operates
(lovely word) "for the encouragement of Anglo-
Persian enterprise, both by means of railway and
construction and other forms of transport."
A correspondent writing from Paris, August 21st,
1919, declared that: "There were more grounds for
friction between Britain and France in the Near
East than there were at any time in the Fashoda incident." All the grandiloquent phrases of the war
which made such excellent camouflage begin to
fade when we apply the analysis of the Materialistic
Conception of History. Arthur Ponsonby, M. P.,
and secretary of the late Campbell-Bannerman,
pointed out in "Common Sense" that: "Egypt was
no longer under Turkish Suzerainty but part of the
British Empire, 350,000 square miles; Cyprus, 3,584
square miles; German South-west Africa, 322,450
square miles; German East Africa, 384,180 square
miles; half of Togoland and the Cameroons, 112,415
square miles; Samoa, 1,050 square miles; German
New Guinea and South Sea Islands, 90,000 square
miles; Syria and Palestine, 11,000 square miles;
Mesopotamia, 143,250 square miles; grand total,
1,417,929 square miles." Yet Asquith said in
October, 1914: "We have no desire to add to our
imperial burdens either in area or responsibility,"
and Lloyd George said on one occasion: "As the
Lord liveth we do not want an inch of territory."
I suppose being God's chosen to preach the gospel,
Providence is merely kind.
Family Life Through The Ages
(In Three Parts).
THE Marxian Socialist understands the social
system in which we live. He does not find it
necessary to consult mediums or ouija boards in
order to explain political and economic events.
Since the appearance of the "Communist Manifesto" in 1847, we have a key that unlocks the mysteries of the past and present. This key is the
Materialist Conception of History. A proper understanding of historical materialism is the only
requisite for an explanation of how the, present
social structure evolved out of preceding forms,
and what must take the place when it, in turn,
,\cea«es to function.
When the Socialist asserts that capitalism must
eventually make way for social ownership of the
means of production, the contention is not based on
noise or rhetoric. A scientific analysis of the matter
at hand leads inevitably to this conclusion. If we
examine the various institutions of today and yesterday, laying particular emphasis on the laws behind their changes, we can easily see the lack of permanency in the system which those institutions
In the early years of capitalism there was nat-
ually a harmonious response between "the social
requirements" and their "means of fulfillment."
The institutions may be classified as the organs of
society and, so long as the social system remains in
perfect working order, those organs can be depended upon to function smoothly and well. But,
under adverse conditions, the opposite obtains- The
decaying tendencies of the system are certain to
manifest themselves through the machinery of
No matter which institution we enquire into we
get the same results. Half a century ago, the various modes of legislation in vogue throughout the
capitalist world were well fitted to the requirements. Senates, Congresses, Commons, Lords and
Reichstags, adequately functioned in legislative
matters. During the recent war, however, a drastic
change became necessary. Business specialist, and
technical expert, were called into action to co-operate with, or usurp the function of, the old established legislative institutions. Also the necessity
for labor representation in capitalist councils became apparent, and practically all the belligerent
nations drafted into service such labor leaders as
they could safely trust to maintain intact the present system of class rule.
In the financial, educational, religious, artistic,
legal, and other institutions the same absence of
harmonious response between the requirements of
society, and the means for satisfying those requirements reveals itself.
In this essay we will endeavor to explain the nature of the domestic institutions of today, and trace
its development through the ages. Like all the other
sections of the social machinery referred to, the
family system, in twentieth century capitalism, is
sufficiently rotten to correctly portray the condition of the social structure in which it operates.
Look where we will along the trail of human development we cannot discover a more putrid, incongruous, repulsive state of affairs than that which
exists at present in the family relations between
men and women. The only instances in which anything approaching the present family relations can
be unearthed pertain to the closing years of other
social reforms.
Prior to the French Revolution of 1789, as well
as back in the years previous to the collapse of the
Roman Republic, a replica on a smaller scale of present family conditions is encountered. The abortions, sexual excesses, and perverted desires, rampant among all sections of society in France and
Rome, have been lavishly dilated upon by the satir
ists, poets, dramatists and historians of those times.
Today we view a condition similar in kind, but
magnified a thousand-fold over the darkest period
of any previous system- A glance at the columns
of the daily press anent marriages, separations,
- divorces, and clandestine arrangements between the
sexes suffices to warrant our contention in full-
In Britain during the anet-bellum days divorces
were rarely obtained. There was no great incentive
to prompt the members of any section of British
society to sue for annulment of marriage. Among
the nobility and aristocracy, monogamy was always
more of an assumption than a reality. They had
no necessity for divorce as they only cohabited on
State occasions. Among the proletariat the urge
was also lacking, but for other reasons. In the industrial centres where men and women left their
huts and hovels in early morning to slave in mills,
mines, factories, and fields till late at night, they
were not together long enough to start a fight of
sufficient magnitude to warrant divorce.
But the war, here as elsewhere, played a notable
part. Men conscripted into the army had ample
leisure to shatter their conjugal fidelity. Women
at home, either the recipients of a state allotment,
or working under comparatively favorable conditions, had new opportunities for light coquetry, and
loose amours. With such a favorable soil for their
development, little wonder that divorces are now
such a common occurrence in the British courts.
Formerly three-quarters of the applicants for divorce were women. Today the majority are men.
The prosperity is accountable.
Even in staid, Presbyterian Scotland, where womanly chastity was second only to the sanctity of the
Sabbath, the conditions have drastically changed.
One judge, as reported in the British press, stated
that he disposed of more than a. hundred divorce
eases, in the city of Glasgow, where almost all the
applicants were men, and the charge adultery. The
great prominence given to divorce bills, and other
measures of domestic importance, in the recent.session of parliament removes all doubt as to the gravity of the situation.
But how are we to understand the problem and
arrive at a satisfactory conclusion? Skimming
along the surface and merely noting the effects,
may be an interesting pastime and afford mental
relaxation for the literary rabble, but such a method
can never supply the reasons for this phenemenon.'
We must dig beneath the surface and examine the
very foundation of society. A Shaw, France, Ibsen,
London, or Drieser can present a vivid picture of
domestic affairs as they appear today. The changes
that are taking place in society; the new relationships that are being establifhed between classes due
to the development of the machine; and the advanced means of investigation available, have resulted in a prolific crop of novelists, dramatists, and
poets, who specialize in presenting pictures of home
and family happenings.
But, startling as may be their disclosures, satirical their pressentation, or lurid their coloring, they
only, at best, hover around the effects without ever
molesting the causes behind them. Perhaps no literary man of any age has contributed more toward
erasing the rough spots in capitalist society than
Charles Dickens- His consistent onslaught on such
institutions as debtors prisons, boarding schools
and orphan's homes, will long be remembered by an
army of reader. But what was the result? Even
when these antiquated domiciles were entirely eliminated, what did it profit the workers of Britain?
Were they not still wage slaves whose physical and
mental energy had to be peddled in return for a bare
subsistence? Is it not reasonable to suppose that
the degree of exploitation was accentuated rather
than retarded by the introduction of these remedial measures?
We find it necessary, then, to get down to rock
bottom and analyze the economic base before attempting to decorate and illumine the superstructure. To do this we must have access to works on
biology, ethnology, sociology, and other branches of
science. Morgan, Engels, Marx, Darwin, and many
other lesser lights have all contributed useful matter on the origin and development of family life.
The marriage rules, and moral codes, of evolving
man were undoubtedly on a par with those of the
other organisms in the world around him. Such
things were absent in all cases. There must.be a
stage of considerable development attained before
it becomes possible to formulate even crude and simple regulations of hunian affairs.
The consanguine family is the first to merit our
scrutiny. This form, as the title implies, was one
of blood relationship, and founded upon the intermarriage of brothers and sisters in a group. Such
a family system has not existed anywhere during
the historical period. But sufficient evidence is
obtainable to warrant us making the deduction that
this system of consanquinity did exist at one period
in ancient society.
In fact there is every reason to believe that previous to the existence of even this primitive group
form, that a much more loosely constructed order
of sexual relationship prevailed. Promiscuous intercourse, or free sexual license, is the logical deduction we must draw if we impartially retrace family
development back from the earliest authentic mode.
All the tendencies point to this one conclusion. That
even in this relationship there may have been some
order established, eliminating the idea of a haphazard, catch-as-catch-can form of intercourse, is a
reasonable supposition. The term unrestricted can
be utilized only in a broad sense, and implies that
subsequent barriers erected by custom did not then
From the earliest known form of sexual relationship, up to that of today, the tendency has ever been
in the direction of limiting the dimensions of the
group, and gradually contracting the circle, till one
man and one woman became the established unit of
family life.
The first diminution of group activity, in matters
sexual, came with the barrier drawn between persons of diffei'ent generations. Mutual sexual intercourse between such persons was prohibited-
Next came the exclusion of brothers and sisters, followed by that of first cousins and, then, into more
remote degrees of relationship.
Just as to what motives actuated primitive man
in placing restriction^ in the way of any person, or
groups, we cannot say for certainty. Any reasons
adduced are still a matter of conjecture- However, -
it does seem logical to suppose that even while the
power of abstract reasoning was outside a possibil-
. ity among our early ancestors, still, that their powers of observation were keen and alert is clearly de-
ducable from the data 'at hand.
If they could not argue and explain they could
observe. The deteriorating effects of close inbreeding would, through time, become visible to savage
man. To curb the continuance of such an injurious
manner of intercourse would be the natural sequence to a proper estimation of its effects. As to
who inaugurated the change, or when it first took
place, we do not know. We cannot easily ascertain.
The revelation is enshrouded by the misty darkness
of the past. But one conclusion seems well founded.
Some comparatively advanced peoples instituted the
innovation. By so doing they enhanced their own
progress, and the more backward tribes, or packs,
either saw the necessity of following suit, and did
so, or continued their previous mode of relationship
till they finally disappeared from the stage of events.
What transpired along the remainder of the
journey, and why, will occupy our attention in the
next- .       J. A. McD. PAGE FOUR
Western Clarion
A Journal of History,  Economics, Philosophy,
and Current Events.
Published twice  a  month  by the  Socialist  Party of
Canada 401 Pender Street East, Vancouver, B. C.
Phone  Highland _ 2583
Editor Ewen MacLeod
~~    ~~" Subscription:
Canada, 20 issues   $1.00
Foreign,  16 issues     $1.00
f%t%t\I£ this number is on your address label your
XyM subscription expires with next issue. Eeuew
**v promptly.
SOMETIME during this month the commencement will be made of classes on history and
economics—on other subjects too, perhaps, but upon
these certainly.
It is the function of the S. P. of C. to advance
the education of the workers in such matters as
affect them as a class suffering exploitation of their
labor in capitalistic society.
In general, the workers today do not' understand
the basis of their operations as producers of wealth.
They have learned to produce wealth, and the educational institutions of capitalism have been content
to furnish them with such instruction as is necessary to their efficiency as producers of wealth.
Throughout the Socialist movement, lectures, propaganda, class studies and literature generally, deal
mostly with history and economics. The educational institutions of capitalism may be relied upon
to properly guide the student in astronomy, botany,
biology, physics, grammar, mathematics, etc., but to
the study of economics and history there enters a
consideration affecting capitalism itself as an institution. To study history and economics is to
examine the roots of society itself, to consider the
growth and development of human relationships up
to the point of present day society, and to examine
the part played in present day society by all persons within it, that is, as persons assisting in the
production of the things necessary to feed and clothe
Socialists find that the workers generally are suffering from class education. The ideas of the ruling class concerning the growth and development of
society, and the root principles underlying the system of wealth production now obtaining, have been
imposed upon the workers. They have been taught
to strive for efficiency in labor, to be honest, and
to save. In their succeeding generations they have
followed the teaching and their lot has not been
improved. The Socialist educational system is an
effort to rescue economics and history from the
"biased channels of capitalist learning. The institutions of capitalist learning are crumbling against
a positive Socialist onslaught. The measure of
their decay lies in capitalism itself; when its processes of production, of exchange, of expansion, are
out of order, these schools are rendered weak, because they have to uphold a system which is not
smooth running, which, most of the time, is struggling with its own mechanism. They are apologists for a system of wealth production which is
readily seen to be crumbling, as failing to provide
for the wants of its population.
The study classes will take up history and economics, and those who pass through these classes,
provided they are equipped, not so much with super-
intelligence as with earnestness and diligence, will
understand why the "lot" of the workers, under
capitalism, is to produce as much as what they
consume will allow, and to leave the rest to their
Comrade Frank Cassidy has gone east from Vancouver on an organizing and lecturing tour in the
inner B. C. country.   He began at Merritt, and has
visited Princeton and Hedley. He reports good meetings held at Merritt and Hedley particularly. He
intends to go through the Crow's Nest Pass, and will
visit any location where good meetings are likely
along that route. So that comrades who can give
us any local information tending to facilitate
Socialist propaganda that may be useful as a guidance to a propagandist touring their district, will
do well to write to us.   Frank is is constant touch
with us, and we can pass the word along.
* #   #
Comrade Charlie Lestor leaves Vancouver on the
2nd October for England. He will speak wherever
meetings can be arranged within the time at his
disposal in Canada on the way east. His first meeting will be in Fernie, where he will speak on the
6th October, and if meetings can be arranged he
will speak at places immediately east of that point.
The Winnipeg comrades are likely to hear him talking for a week or more to as many bewildered natives as they can assemble. Comrade Lestor expects to be away three or more months. We hope
to be able to present his viewpoint on working-class
matters as they appear in Great Britain, in these
columns in course of time.
* #    •
Places to which the CLARION goes are, among
others, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, France,
Holland and China. The latest territorial recruit
on the subscription list is Czeko-Slovakia, Bohemia,
where (therefore) anything may happen soon. But
what about places like Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, to say nothing of Alberta and
It helps ,of course, to educate the heathen abroad,
but let us worry away at our own heathen as much
as we can.
a    a    *
The Fifth Edition of the MANIFESTO of the S.
P. of C. is on the press. This contains the preface
to the Fourth Editon, and also the preface which
appeared in our last issue. This last mentioned preface directs attention to the summary of events as
contained in the preface to the Fourth Edition,
and points to the position of the S. P. of C. towards
the war and the events connected therewith as being sound and well judged.
* #   *
As we went to press last issue we were informed
that the John McLean who has been writing articles
on industrial matters, in the "Free Press" (Winnipeg), is not an ex-professor of mathematics as the
article in our last issue stated. It was undertood
that he had been a professor of mathematics in the
University of Manitoba, but we are informed that
some of the student bodies in that mental gymnasium have protested the insinuation. We understand
now that he graduated as a Rhodes scholar from
Oxford, and that since then he has been connected
with what is sometimes called the "educational system" of India. He is now a Winnipeg barrister. So
the shivering mathematicians have saved their faces
after all, and our circle of acquaintances among the
dusty minded citizens is increased by one. These
legal gentlemen seem to have one jealous eye on
their precious legal superstructure and the other on
us at all times, and if we don't go breaking legal
windows now and then, they manage to explain in
the press how we should.
* #   *
"The Revolutionary Socialist," (S. L. P., Sydney,
N. S. W.), August 14tfi, reproduces "What Commerce Means," by J. A. McD., from our issue of 1st
June, 1920.
* #   *
The following sums have been collected by Julius
Mitchell for Soviet Russia Medical Relief, and the
amount of $7.50 has been sent to Dr. John Guttman,
secretary, by us:—Clarence Vreeland, 50c; George
Vreeland, 50c; George Huclick, 50c; J. McKinnon,
50c; Karl Houds, $1; Julius Mitchell, $3; Hugh Han-
sieton, 50c; E. U. Landry, 50c; T. Bolhuis, 50c; total,
* *   *
Two more articles of "Economic Causes of War,"
by Comrade Peter T. Leckie remain to be printed.
After that we shall attend to the printing of the
hook, which, judging by the appreciation accorded
these articles, should have a good reception. Comrade Leckie commences in this issue a new series of
articles: ''Materialistic Interpretation of History,"
written particularly for the attention of beginners
in the systematic study of History. It is hoped that
these articles may prove useful to history classes
throughout the country this winter.
* #   #
John A. Maguire is the secretary of the Alberta
and Saskatchewan Provincial Executive Committee.
He will welcome correspondence or enquiries rela
tive to Party matters from Alberta and Saskatchewan.   Address: 93—10016 Street, Edmonton.
# #   *
We expect to be able to present an article soon'
from the pen of C. M. C.   His last article in these
columns was "Armenia," (March 1st, 1920).
# *   *
Comrade Stephenson has promised to end his Veb-
lenese meditations soon. From which we conclude
that our readers are to hear from him. Next to
Veblen himself, in the interpretation of his sayings,
Chris, usually makes the greatest number of correct
guesses.      (We'll suffer for this).
# *   #
If number 829 appears on your address label, your
subscription expires with the next issue. Renew
at once or you may miss an issue or two.
In your issue for August 16th, there is an article
on the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat," by F.,
S. F. In it he says: " .... it becomes tragic ....
to find temperamental personalities like Debs linking hands with shuffling Kautsky, and affirming
their belief in "democracy" as opposed to dictatorship."
It is well to bear in mind the actual words used
by Debs to the committee bearing his nomination to
his grand residence in Atlanta. I quote from the
July "Liberator": "I regret that the convention
did not see its way clear to affiliate with the Third
International without qualification. There is some
difficulty about that phrase about the dictatorship
of the proletariat. A 'dictatorship' does not imply
what we mean. It is a misnomer. Dictatorship is
autocracy. There is no autocracy in the rule of the
masses. During the transition period the Revolution must protect itself." These words of Debs
surely clear him of the charge. His support of the
Moscow International practically pigeon-holes him
for the substance of that dictatorship whether he
likes the phrase or not, and "phrases do not make
a revolution."
This is submitted, not in any hero worship of
Debs, but because it is well worth while to get as
far away as possible from the religious habit of being inexact. F. W. THOMPSON.
In reply to Comrade Thompson, who infers that
my statement in regards to Comrade Debs is ''inexact," I think, if he will read the whole of Debs'
speech of acceptance, he will find, as near as I can
remember, these words also:
"We Socialists are utterly opposed to dictatorship in any form .... we believe in democracy for
everyone.'' ,
WeU, in Russia, there is a dictatorship of the Communist Party, in the interest of the working class,
that is just exactly what the word means, and it is
not in the least what is called democratic. So I
think Comrade Debs has "the religious habit of
being inexact," for a Dictatorship is a Dictatorship.
As to whether he is for the substance or not, that
would be hard to say, till he got up against it, for
he, too, is one of those lovable characters that
think "kindliness and tolerance are worth more than
all the creeds in the world."
Debs can support Lenin, yet Berger can support
Debs, and Berger has no use for Lenin.
Ah, Avell, "Gene is a man for a' that."
— of the —
(Fifth Edition)
Per copy 10 cents
Per 25 copies   $2
Materialist Interpretation of History
ALTHOUGH there is hardly a subject more adapted to broaden the mind, than history, yet our
public schools confine themselves mostly to national
history, and impart very meagre instruction, if any
at all, in the history of the world. History is taught
as if it were nothing else but a chronology of events,
springing from the heroism or the wisdom of certain
individuals. It has been presented to us as the
events of the lives of conspicuous characters, Kings,
Generals and Politicians, to celebrate their political
successes, or records of wars, and make as much as
possible of all this pomp and show.
The historian has almost always written with the
purpose of cultivating the goodwill of the class that
is in power, and applauding the nation of which he
wrote. For instance, I was taught in Scotland of
the daring deeds of Scotland's national heroes, Wal.
lace and Bruce, against the English at Stirling and*
Bannockburn. What necessity is history of that
description, in a country united to its former enemy,
unless for the purpose of creating a race hatred so
that the ruling class can divide the people, to enable
them to maintain their power?
Buckle, in his "History of Civilization in England," says:
"History has been written by men so inadequate to the great task they have undertaken,
that few of the necessary materials have been
brought together. Instead of telling us those
things which alone have any value, instead of
giving us information respecting the progress
of knowledge, instead of these things, .the
vast majority of historians fill their works with
most trifling and miserable details and personal anecdotes of kings and courts, interminable relations of what was said by one minister and what was said by another, and what is
worst of all, long accounts of campaigns, battles and seiges, very interesting no doubt to
those who engaged in them, but of very little
interest if any at all, to us, because they neither furnished us with new truths, nor do they
supply the means whereby new truths can be
Vol. I., p. 183, Buckle says:
' As long as books, either from the difficulty
of their style or from the general incuriosity
of people, found but few readers, it is evident,
authors had to rely on the generosity and patronage of the Wealthy.   And as men are always inclined to flatter those upon whom they
depend,  it too  often happened our greatest
writers  prostituted their ability  by fawning
upon the prejudices of their patrons.      And
servility was paid during the 16th and 17th
centuries and early part of the 18th century.
A sum of money was invariably presented to
the author in return for his dedication; of
course, the greater the flattery, the greater the
sum of money.''
Buckle tells us that Louis XIV. of France induced
an Italian named Abbe Prkni, then residing in Paris,
to write a history of himself.   He was delighted
with the idea of perpetuating his fame, and conferred several rewards upon the author.   Arrangements were made to compose the work in Italian
and translate it into the French, but when the work
was finished there were some circumstances found
in it which it was thought ought not to be disclosed.
On this account Louis caused the book to be suppressed, the papers of the author seized, and the
author   himself   thrown   into   the   Bastille.      The
French  authors wriggled  out  of doing  the work
through fear.
Rogers, in his "Work and Wages," says:
"If there had been any inclination to search
into the lives and doings of the great mass of
our forefathers, instead of skimming the froth
of our foreign policy of wars, royal marriages
and successions, and the. personal characters
of puppets who have strutted on the stage of
public life, I might have dispensed with this
marshalling of facts and figures. But even in
English history, writers have only attempted
to deal with antiquated forms and not with the
realities which lie beneath these forms; -much
less have they attempted to revive the life of
a single village of mediaeval England."
Today, there is a movement on foot to change the
school history of the U. S. A., because of its antagonism to the friendly relations entered into with
Britain, as Allies in the Great War.
The Great War theory was the favorite theory
put forth to explain the phenemenon of history up
until the middle of the 19th century. The theory
was that once in a while through some infinite
mercy and supernatural power, a great man was
sent to this earth and gave humanity a lift to a
higher level, there to go along in a hum-drum way
until another great man was sent to us. One of
the finest flowers in this school of thought is Car-
lyle's "Heroes and Hero Worship."
This theory may have given an Utopian idea for
men to strive for, but it gave us no scientific clue
to history. If this great man was a supernatural
phenomenon, a gift of God, then history has no scientific basis and all progress would depend on the
caprices of God. If, on the other hand, the great
man was a natural phenemenon, the theory stopped
short of its goal, for it gives us no explanation of
the genesis of the great man, nor the reason of the
supernatural power attributed to him.
Mr Mallock, one of capitalism's servile apologists, has attempted to revise and revive the great
man theory and give it a scientific form. He attributes all progress to great men, but with the
brutal frankness of bourgeois capitalism gives us a
new definition of the great man. According to
Mallock, the great man is the man who makes
money. This has long been the working theory
of modern capitalistic society, and Mallock is
amongst the first to have the stupidity to confess it.
By this confession, Mallock admits the truth (unconsciously), of the fundamental premise of modern
scientific Socialism (our Socialism), that the economic factor in life is the dominant factor. So that
one of capital'sm's ablest champions admits unconsciously, the truth of the Materialist Conception of
Herbert's Spencer's "Study of Sociology" is one
of the most brilliant refutations of the Great Man
Thcoiy. Yet no one man really killed the theory.
The spread and acceptance of Darwinism created
an intellectual atmosphere wherein the theory could
no longer live than a fish could live out of water.
By Darwinism we mean the transmutation of the
species by variation and natural selection, a selection mainly, if not wholly, by the struggle for existence. This doctrine of organic development and
change, which was by Russell and Darwin a purely
biological doctrine, was transported into the field
of sociology and used with great force by Herbert-
Spencer to all human institutions, legal, moral,
economic and religious. Herbert Spencer has taught
the world that our social institutions are fluid and
not fixed. As Karl Marx has said in his 1st edition
of his great work, "Capital":
' The present society is no solid crystal, but
an organization capable of change, and is constantly changing."
Prof. Ely, in "Evolution of Industry," p. 20, says:
"The economic world is constantly changing, that >t is expressed in additional words
in our vocabulary, such expressions as Socialists, scab, government by injunction, walking
delegate,  collective  bargaining,  sliding scale,
water stock, wheat-pit, bonanza farming, cooperation and profit-sharing, captain of industry, full dinner-pail, municipal ownership, mail
order business, are mostly terms George Washington would not have understood at all."
In a footnote Ely says: "In recent years a high
position amongst the world thinkers has been attributed to Karl Marx by non-Socialists," and mentions
Prof. E. R. A. Seligman, of Columbia University, in
this connection, and refers the reader to his book
(beligman's) "Economic Interpretation of History."
Karl Marx, in the 2nd edition of "Capital," says:
"Every historical social developed form is
in a fluid movement."
This is the theory of evolution in its broadest
sense, aud it has struck a death blow to the concepts n of permanence so dear to the hearts of the capitalist class, who love to sing to their great god. private property, "as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, amen."
Before natural science had revolutionized the intellectual atmosphere, great men might have rained
from heaven proclaiming the doctrines of Socialism
yet there would have been no Socialist movement.
In fact, many of its ideas have found utterance
centuries ago, but the economic conditions not being
ripe, the ideas were either still-born or died in infancy.
The story of the birth of Darwinism is a proof
itself of the fallacy of the Great Man Theory, and
a confirmation of the view that new ideas, theories,
and discoveries emanate from material conditions.
We need men who are capable of perceiving the
essential relations and significance of facts and
drawing correct inductions therefrom. Such men
are rare, but there is always enough of them to perform these functions, and the so-called great men,
born before the material and economic conditions
are ripe, can effect nothing. When conditions are
ripe, the same idea occurs to more than one mind,
that is, the same conditions and facts, force the
same idea on different minds. It is true, there is
always some man who is best able to marshall the
facts, and the new idea becomes linked up with his
name, and the human race perpetuates his memory.
This double discovery of Darwin and Russell holds
good of all great discoveries, which I will point out
in our next issue.
Socialist Party of
We the Socialist Party of Canada affirm our allegiance to,
and support of, the principles and programme of the revolutionary working class.
Labor, applied to natural resources, produces all wealth
The present economic system is based upon capitalist ownership of the means of production, consequently, all the products of labor belong to the capitalist class. The capitalist
is   therefore,  master;  the worker a  slave.
So long as the capitalist class remains in possession of the
reins of government, all the powers of the State will be used
to protect and defend its property rights in the meuns i>f
wealth p-oduction and its control of the product of labor.
The capitalist system gives to the capitalist an ever-swelling stream of profits, and to the worker, an ever-increasing
measure  of   misery   and  degradation.
The interest of the working class lies in setting itself free
from capitalist exploitation by tho abolition of the wage
system, under whicii this exploitation, at the point of production, is cloaked. To accomplish this necessitates the
transformation of capitalist property in the means of weatlh
production   into   socially  controlled  economic  forces.
The irrepressible conflict of interest between the capitalist
and the worker necessarily expresses itself as a strugvle for
political   supremacy.    This   is   the  Class  Struggle.
Therefore, we call nil workers to organize under the banner
of the Socialist Part; of Canada, with the object of conquer-
in:; the political powers, for the purpose of setting up and en-
forcing the economic programme of the working class, as
1. The transformation as rapidly as possible, of capitalist property in the means of wealth production
(natural rcsourcesi factoriesj mills, railroads, etc.)
into collective means of production.
2. The organization and management of industry by
the  working class  .
3. The establishment, as speedily as possible, of production for use instead of production for profit. PAGE SIX
Social Unrest in the U.S.
LESS than two months till election day. The
enormous amount of discontent bottled up,
and suppressed for three years, under the capitalist dictatorship behind Wilson and Co., is still'
gathering momentum* and after scanning primary
results it seems that the best hated man in this
land, and his notorious reactionary understrappers,
are due to see the people sweep them and their
party into well deserved oblivion.
Even though the Democrats have an alleged radical for presidential candidate, in Cox, who is ready
to be all things to all men, wet in wet states, and
dry in dry ones, who makes an ''issue' 'out of the
big fund alleged to be behind the Republicans (why
shouldn't a party get its funds from the economic
interests it aspires to serve?) yet; the people are indifferent to his pleas; the Wilson record is too much
of a handicap.-
Voters have short memories, but they still bear
in mind the 1916 slogan: "He kept us out of war."
So they are going to take revenge by electing
Phonograph Harding and the G. 0. P. The hatred
for Wilson is shown in the election of Tom Watson
to the Senate, from Georgia, a solid Democratic
State (a nomination there being as good as election)
who toured the States telling the voters: "If you
approve of anything Wilson has done, don't vote
for me." His bitter denunciation of Wilson as an
"egomaniac) who ought to be in jail, instead of
Debs," didn't cost him any votes, in a Democratic
State, so one can see what is coming.
Maine goes overwhelmingly Republican, and in
New Hampshire, reactionary Moses, anti-suffragist,
gets nominated by large majority; (oh, those women). It is even probable that the Farmer-Labor
Party will nose the Dems. out for second place in
Novemeber. This party is likely to carry two or
three states, and will make a good showing in several others in this northwest. They will also get
most of the old Socialist Party vote; though Debs
will poll a larger personal vote than Christiansen,
Debs being the living symbol to all idealists here,
of outraged humanity. It is difficult to say what
the S. L. P. will poll, they being a dwindling party,
and but poorly organized. In many places they
never hold meetings from one year's end to another,
where sections do exist, though their members free^
ly scoff at all other efforts made to teach the slaves
In this State of Washington, for example, the
Socialist Party was once quite strong and thriving,
keeping organizers out regularly, and men of good
calibre too at times, were they. The entry of the
U. S. into war saw a big decline in membership,
diverging views on course to assume; persecution of
members, etc., being responsible. The balance split
over decision to join the C. L. P. Persecution of
C. L. P.'s followed, and it is doubtful whether there
can be said to be such an organization left. Groups
exist in several places, Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, etc,,
calling themselves Socialist Party, but they are unaffiliated with any national party, so far as the
writer knows. The bulk of the old membership will
be found now in the Farmer-Labor Party, formerly
Triple Alliance. The various Socialist groups under
the able tuition of J. Fisher, are forming Marxian
clubs, for the study of economics, history, philosophy, from the Marxian or commonsense viewpoint.
This is good business and great interest is being
manifested by all who attend, larger numbers continually coming. S. L. P.'s as stated, are totally
unable to appreciate the value of such things, because forsooth; industrial organization is not at
all times set forward as the prime prerequisite to
the Revolution particularly, the former only Industrial Union ,the W. I. I. IT., which stand is now modified so far as to claim the 0. B. U., Garment Workers, and so on, as its children. Anyway, some place
must be found in the scheme of things for the W.
I. I. U., or else it simply can't be good.
Apropos of the Revolution, that many good people are continually looking for, it would not be
amiss to here point out that the process of changes
they are worried about is now going on, only, it has
not yet reached that peculiarly agitated, visible,
shape, Avhich so many people imagine is all there is
to change, and dubbed Revolution.   .
The processes of wealth production here, are far in
advance of the average human's ideas. He dimly
sees something is wrong, when wealth is turned out
so easily, and wasted so prodigally, as for instance
at Hog Island; yet because his ideas or consciousness
still linger in the old frontier days, and persistently
tell him that he can get ahead if he tries, he keeps
on trying.   He has an awful "hangover."
Again: he has the idea that all wrongs may be
rectified by sending "good" men to a legislature
to enact just laws for the benefit of the common
True, ideas are a reflex of material phenomena;
but ideas are not necessarily up-to-date on that account. Impressions are continually without pause,
being registered in the reception rooms of the
skull, impressions by the million that we are utterly unconscious of, in the sense that we perceptibly
note each new arrival and classify it, pigeonhole it,
compare it to some prior impression, and produce
the thought result. Impressions crowd in ever
more swiftly these days of lightning news service,
a veritable flood is poured through our sense gates,
to be moulded into ideas—some day, not now—but
All the impressions do influence our actions, and
quite unconscious to our thinking selves, it can be
called automatic. It is only the trained individuals
among us that keep our ideas approxmately up-to-
date, and only a few of these have the materalist
key to unravel the maze we wander in.
And all of us as we get older get "out of date,"
the body gets older, breaks down, the brain cells disintegrate, new impressions though received, are not
utilized with the old speed; the habit of thinking
gets wearisome; the old formed ideas become a
sheet anchor to cling to, while all about, is uncom-
prehended chaos, till the end is reached, and body„
cells, impressions and all, go back to the dust and.
the sod.
Some recorded reflections are passed on, and become of use to the new "lords of the universe." To
the extent they are utilized as material to be examined, and ideas re-extracted and renovated, or give
birth to some better idea, by comparison with present day experience, it is good..
But when the old record becomes a guide to the
mental footsteps of those who should know better;
without criticism, because criticism of the past is ,
sacrilege, and blasphemy, it becomes the Alp that
crushes the brain of the living.
i But the latter is the rule. The human will not
only try a thing once, but when it comes to looking
ahead, and adapting himself to conditions as men
of reason would do, he will even sooner try everything not only once, but many times.
Driven to association with his fellows though he
is, Mr. Average Man still mentally lives in the days
when he was a law unto himself, or the early impressions of his youth's teachings still guide him,
he being so much the more receptive, and the gray
matter easily moulded then/ In the minds of the
vast majority of the people here, private property,
even in utilities socially used, is a most sacred
thing. Hence, all the symptoms of present day unrest, and signs of the coming birth agony manifested in the political field, outside a few groups,
avoid touching the root dause of the troubles.
The landowning farmers hate high taxes, and
want high prices for their produce, so join the nonpartisan League, elect men pledged to achieve the
unachievable, and restlessly await results.
Organized craft union labor, fuming under the relentless downward pressure of "high" prices and
smarting because they can't keep wages even level
with prices, now forms political alliance with the
group of farmers who want higher prices, to capture political power, and oust the lackeys wno serve
the villain, Mr. Middleman, the scoundrel who is
responsible for all their suffering. He charges
labor like Sam Hill, and gives Farmer a mere hand
That's the guy. Let's get him!
Students of Marx.   Now, I ask you?
-And legions of self-styled Socialists, unversed in
political economy, "raised" on "Appeal" slop, and
saturated with ''Direct Action" slush besides, have
rushed in to help; -sure, it is a working class party
and is going in the "right" direction.
"Oh, yes; we'll vote for Debs, but this is the    *
Party that's come to stay, we'll make it revolutionary."
It will fail, as all similar movements have failed,
because of irreconcilable interests, and the big fact
that they are opposing the evolutionary process,
but don't know it.
The slaves will doubtless then say, "To hell with
politics,'' and try solidarity in an O.B.U.: that can
tie up a whole industry at once, and force the boss
to loosen up on his ill-gotten gains.
They too, will fail. But they will try this way,
that road, back and forward for years before they
are seized with the correct idea, to produce wealth
for themselves, instead of handing it to the boss
class, demanding or begging for more of what they
gave away entirely.
To those whose "deferred hope is making the
heart sick," we can only say, keep your eyes open,
and explain the position of the rival classes to each
other. That is better than running around hoping
for the revolution. The revolution is going on, the
switch to the G. 0. P., to the F. L. P., or 0. B. U., or
any other combination of the alphabet is indication '
that the populace is seeking, but has not yet found.
As no relief from the misery prevalent is possible
under the wage system, or while private ownership
of the means of production exists, it follows, that
some time, some way, and somehow, the working
class will be faced with the alternative of revolt or
death of civilization itself.
Whether at that time they have a political party,
or a Avell organized industrial union, or both; they
will be confronted with the necessity of a trial of
strength between the power and physical force in
their working class organizations, and what can be
mustered by the capitalist executive committee on
the other hand. And before they reach the point
where such a revolutionary situation exists, much
has to be done. ' »
This thing cannot be started; it is going on, has
always gone on; it is the continuation of a process
of life development that must have existed before
man and his fusses were known of.
It is Evolution.
We cannot start what is taking place. We can
make the process of evolution, the expropriation of
wealth, and class exploitation, clear to all we can
That is the purpose of Marxian groups.
The more we reach, the easier the society birth
when it comes, because more trained midwives will
be on the job.
We reach the masses in political campaigns. We
explain in the unions why they must change their
object, seek the abolition of slavery, instead of its
palliation. '
We welcome solidarity, bu.t we want class consciousness, and the knowledge springing from study,
We are not worrying about the name given to
the action that will be taken in that decisive
moment when the last slave class squares accounts
with its masters.
It is a long way off in these United States, yet, but
it is fatedly bound to come. Let us work to increase
the number and power of the teachers of Marx,
that the clashes that occur, marred with bloody
slaughter for the ignorant, inexperienced working
class, may be few in number, and the guide of reason be to some extent substituted for stern experience. F. S. F. WESTERN     CLARION
Is it the Dictatorship of the
Standard," which clearly expressed the necessary
democratic implication of Socialism. Surely the
members of the S. P. of C. realize how dangerous
minority rule would be in their party, and the actions of small groups in the S. P. of A. and other
parties to dominate the membership should sufficiently show the dangers of minority rule.
IN the last issue of the "Clarion," F. S. F. deals
with, but does not explain, what Dictatorship
of the Proletariat means.      Shedding tears over
Kautsky and the S. P. of G. B. does not tell us what
is meant by the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.
What do we mean when we use this term anyway?
m    Does it mean a dictatorship of a minority?   If so,
I*   than Faulkner has cast overboard all the ideas he
expressed in the August, 1919, issue of "The Proletarian. ''   Dictatorship as a form of government in
Russia means disarming the opposition, by taking
away the franchise, liberty of the press and combin-
f,' ation of opponents.   Does the working class have
to employ such measures?
A government that has the support of the masses
has not the least occasion to interfere with democracy. Why fear the few who oppose working class
rule? Let them rave on. The working class wants
Socialism and the ravings of a few defenders of
the institution of private property will not deter
them from the right path. Or is it a dictatorship
of a small section of the working class over the great
mass of workers? Can a Socialist system of production be built on this foundation? State organization of production.by society, a bureaucracy by
the dictatorship of a small section of the people does
cratic control of industry. Socialism pre-supposes
mratic control of industry. Socialism pre-supposes
a working class that is capable of running the
wheels of industry more efficiently than under Capitalism- Again, a dictatorship may mean civil war.
An ignorant working class can easily be induced to
support reaction. Chronic civil war or its alternatives, apathy and opposition by the mass under a
dictatorship, would render the organization of a
Socialist system of production well nigh impossible.
And yet we are asked to defend a dictatorship of a
minority which helps to produce anarchy and chaos.
In the subsequent issue of the "Clarion," Frank
Cassidy defends minority action. He quotes from
Lenin as to the existence of a dictotorship of a minority in Russia. To prove this form of action to be
correct, Cassidy uses such childish J arguments:
''Well, as to the fact, pointed out by Lenin himself,
that some 500,000 to 600,000 Communists control
the destinies of Russia. It is doubtful if any dictatorship has ever before been vested in so many.
A handful of Grand Dukes formerly dictated affairs
in Russia ; likewise a few merchant princes and financiers dictate the affairs of the United States, of
Great Britain, France or any other capitalist dictatorship." What a consolation it must be to the
other 179,500,000 to know that the present dictatorship is more numerous than that during the Czarist
Then again, F. S. F. is fearful of what might happen if a revolutionary Socialist ticket were to poll
an overwhelming vote in> November. He is quite
sure that the capitalists will not surrender their
power without a struggle. In the first place what
has that to do with a dictatorship of the proletariat? And again we must realize that should a ruling class under the supposition here discussed, resort to force, it would do so precisely because it
feared the consequences of democracy, and its violence would be nothing but the subversion of demo-
crary. Therefore not the uselessness of democracy
for the working class is demonstrated by anticipated
attempts of the ruling classes to destroy democracy
but rather the necessity of the working class to defend democracy with tooth and nail. It was only
through heavy sacrifices that the working class did
get the democratic privileges of today. The mass
of people are everywhere too attached to their political privileges and will not abandon them without
a struggle. The ruling classes realize that, and are
therefore not attempting to antagonize the working
class by taking from them their political instruments- A few ignorant public officials have done
so, but their actions have been condemned by all
sections of the ruling class. We must not forget
that the more democratic a State is, the more dependent are the forces exerted by the executive dependent on public* opinion. It was necessary for
the ruling class of America to enlist the support of
the masses before it could wage war on Germany.
Military experts hinge everything on the morale of
an army. It is difficult to see why we should be
fearful of what might happen if the working class is
victorious at the polls.
Even Marx thought it possible and even probable
that in England and America, the working class
might peacefully conquer political power. At a
meeting at the Hague Marx stated: "We know that
the institutions, the manners and the customs of
the various countries might be considered, and we
do not deny that there are countries like England
and America, and, if I understand your arrangements, I might even add Holland, where the worker
may attain his object by peaceful means. But not
in all countries is this the case." We know, however, that gradually the capitalists of all countries
are compelled to grant the workers the franchise
and other liberties. The workers of Japan are
duplicating the heroic efforts of the British worker
of fifty years ago.
In August, 1919, issue of "The Proletarian," F.
S. F. points out that minority action is fraught with
danger for the working class. Here are his exact
words: " Do these mass actionists ever think of the
tragic fate of Finland, or of the Liebknecht week in
Berlin?" And we might add the tragedies that
were enacted in Budapest and Munich. But in the
"Clarion" he changes his ideas. "And the truth
about the Russian situation was that the Bolsheviks Avere forced to seize power, or see reaction sweep
them and the advanced workers away as the Finns
Avere SAvept away, and the Hungarians also" On
one hand-he criticizes the mass actionists and on
the other hand he raves about "opportunity." The
only difference between the mass actionists and F.
S. F. is that the mass actionists believe that the
time is iioav ripe for a revolutionary change and
all that is necessary is mass action, whereas F. S. F.
does not believe the time is as yet ripe but, no doubt
in the "sAveet bye-and-bye" will ape our mass.ac-
tionist friends.
No, F. S. F., you cannot get Socialism by Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Bela Kun, Levien, Liebknecht, and others tried your method, but the result
Avas that thousands of workers are rotting in unknown graves. What then are the pre-requisites
of Socialism? The will to Socialism is the first condition for its accomplishment. The will is created
by the gigantic development of industry- Where
small production is universal in a society, the masses
are possessed of the means of industry. Small production creates the will to uphold the institution of
private property. Again Avith the development of
industry, great numbers of peasants are upvooted
from the soil and are compelled to enter industry.
To the ripening of the conditions for Socialism must
be added the maturity of the working clas$. Capitalism itself organizes the workers, trains them and
gradually makes them fit to assume control of industry. Whenever the working class desires Socialism, we will have Socialism. It is impossible to have
Socialism in a country where small production is
general as in the case of Russia. It is also impossible to have Socialism in a country where the huge
mass of people do not desire it. In other words,
Socialism Avithout Democracy is unthinkable. These
are the views not only of Kautsky and the S. P. of
G. B. but of Pritchard as well. F. S- F. no doubt
remembers that Pritchard pointed out to the jury
trying him, that the S. P. of C. expected to get
Socialism only through the support of a majority of
the population of Canada.
It is not long since the "Clarion" reproduced the
article, "What is Democracy," from the "Socialist
SOME Socialist speakers and Avriters have the
habit of referring to the Russian Soviet Government as an experiment.
Peoples and nations act when forces over which
they have no control impel' them to, and their
actions are guided by the amount of knowledge
they possess as to these forces. When slavery was
introduced into communistic society,' it was no
scheme or experiment on the part of certain sections
of that society then existing, notwithstanding the
fact that it was a new departure-,, and this applies—
as every student of economics must be aware—to
all those changes that have taken place in the evolution of mankind.
The only feasible solution to the present chaos
the. world over, Avhen capitalism, or the system of
production for profit and the private ownership of
the means of life is in its deacy, is to replace it by
a system of production for use and social ownev-
ship of the means of life, and it is that solution that
is being applied in Russia today. The human race
must periodically adjust itself to the constant economic changes taking place, and the existing turmoil is a natural outcome resulting from a dying
system and the birth of a new system that avJH more
satisfactorily meet the needs of society.
All neAv changes that have taken place in society
during its long and arduous struggle have been
forced upon it, and we do not hear that slavery,
feudalism, capitalism, Avere experiments emanating
from the giant brains'of individuals, nor Christianity, or the many wars of the past, including the
great war, rebellions, and finally the war we are
iioav in the midst of—the Avar between capital and
labor, being Avaged in every capitalist country—
Ave do not hear that these are experiments. Then
why claim that the first country to make a decisive
attempt to throw off the chains of slavery of the
Avorkers—an attempt that so far-as can reasonably
be seen Avill be successfully followed by every
other nation—is an experiment? Such a claim is
entirely opposed to the materialist conception of
history and the class struggle. O. M.
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Concerning Value
Article No. 1.—The Necessity of Right Conception
IT was Karl Marx and Frederick Engels who first
gave to the world the sociological laAv of economic determinism in this classical statemeent:
"In  every historical epoch, the prevailing
mode of economic production and exchange,
and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the basis upon Avhich is built
up, and from which alone can be explained,
the political and intellectual history of that
epoch; that consequently the whole history of
mankind   (since  the  dissolution of primitive
tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been the history of class struggles,
contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes.... that the history of
these class struggles forms a series of evolution
in which, now-a-days a stage has been reached
where the exploited and the oppressed class—
the proletariat—cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling
class—the bourgeoisie—Avithout, at the same
time, and once and for all, emancipating society
at large from all exploitation, oppression, class-
distinction and class struggles."
The study of history in the light of economic
determinism displaced the old presentation of certain events in the lives of conspicuous persfwialities,
such as kings and potentates, celebrating their political successes, recording their wars, and making
all possible of their pomp and trappings of State.
The facts presented have been those which would
lend themselves to the glorification of great personages, and the reasoning upon them has been theological in its methods.
With the advent of economic determinism as the
interpretator of human history the death-knell of
theological history was sounded. For the Economic
Interpretation of History proceeds by quite different methods—it aims at the whole truth, and its
effect upon the human mind is-altogether different
than that wrought by the theologians. Says Parce
in "Economic Determinism":
"It is the study of the development of society, and by society is meant the whole of the
people, with their facilities for getting a living,
their institutions and ideas. It has very little
to do with either special events or particular, individuals. An individual has no importance at
all, excepting in his relation to all the people,
and then the people are the important thing;
he is merely an incident. And the mainspring
of growth and action is found not in any outside power. But above all, it traces the ways in
which the races of men get their living, for all
. other developments depend upon changes and
improvements in the ways of producing the
food and clothing of the race." (Emphasis
"When a person sees that the conditions in
which he lives are due to causes which can and
do change from time to time, and when he
sees that such changes are the result of new
knowledge put to practical use, or of new inventions and discoveries made by common men
like himself, it puts new hope and courage into
him. When he sees that improvements can be
made by people simply getting together and
making them, he takes a new attitude altogether. Whereas he was a negative and passive creature before, whose life was simply an
endurance test, he now becomes alert and positive. He wants to learn about the facts of
life, and Avhat they mean and what opportunities for improvement they offer; then he Avants
to put his shoulder to the wheel and push."
—''Economic Determinism," pp.  11-12.
With the sure guide of economic determinism
there fell to the ground the old ideas of society,
the old concepts of history, the old supremacy of
witch-craft and mysticism. Man began to realize
that he Avas master of his own destiny, that he could
become the master, and cease to be the slave of
Moreover, Marx and Engels, by the discovery of
the law of economic determinism, placed sociology
on the sure foundations of a science. Or, as Engels
himself says:
"History for the first time was placed upon
its real foundation; the obvious fact hitherto
ignored, that first of all man must eat, drink,
have shelter and clothing, and therefore work,
before they can struggle for supremacy or devote themselves to politics, religion, philosophy, etc.—this fact at last found historical
This historical recognition of economic determinism brought with it the realization of the importance
of the economic forces which make and re-make society. For the first time man was conscious of the
important fact that he could become the master of
the trend of social evolution- Instead of the old concept of guiding powers from other worlds! and the
hapless slavery to an Omnipotent God, there came
the new and hopeful concept of man's part in the
moulding of social institutions and the realization of
man's power to become master and not slave.
The value of such a guide to history is so apparent
that there is little need for the writer to tell the tale
and point the moral. Sufficient to his present purpose that he emphasises the importance of economic
determinism as a guide to socioligical development.
The acceptance of economic determinism implies
the acceptance of the necessity of a close and careful study of the economic structure of the existing
social order. If, as the Socialist states, the determining factor in social evolution is the means of
wealth production and distribution, then it follows,
as does night day, that only by a scientific analysis
of the existing economic system can we appreciate
to the full the trend of social evolution. The incessant change and urge of economic forces, the causes
of those forces of which they are the effects—this
must be the subject matter of all those who Avould
take the existing social order, and:
"Shatter it to bits,
To remould it nearer to the heart's desire."
In such a study, we must start, as Marx himself
has pointed out, with the production of a single
commodity. The science of economics deals with
the production and distribution of a nation's wealth,
and in order to understand that process it is essential that we examine it in relation to a single, given
commodity. A single commodity is a unit in that
accumulation of commodities which comprise the
wealth of any nation, and by the careful analysis of
the processes whereby that commodity is produced
and exchanged, Ave shall arrive at a clear conception of the processes whereby the whole of the
wealth of any given system of society is produced
and distributed.
In such a study of the economic structure of the
existing social order, it is imperative that we possess a thorough understanding of the meaning of
the term Value. Prof. Stanley Jevons (of whom
more anon) says:
"Exchange is so important a process in the
maximising of utility (read value) and the
saving of labor, that some economists have regarded their science as treating of this operation alone .... It is impossible to have a
correct idea of the science of Economics without a perfect comprehension of the Theory of
Exchange."—"The Theory of Political Economy," pp. 75-6.
And he continues that a thorough understanding
of that theory necessitates a clear conception of
the term Value.
Says the "Encyclopaedia Britannica":
"In most departments of economic theory
it is convenient to use as the basic of exposition
the opinions of J. S. Mill, not only because he
has embodied in his treatise in a remarkable
manner nearly everything of importance from
the theoretical standpoint in the work of his
predecessors, but also because most of the recent advances in economic science have been
made by way of criticism or development of
his vieAvs. This observation is especially true
of the theory of value."—Sect, re "Value."
And this "remarkable" economist says:
''Almost every speculation respecting the
economical interests of a society thus constituted implies some theory of value; the smallest
error on that subject infects with correspond
ing error all our other conclusions; and anything vague or misty in our conception of it
creates  confusion and  uncertainty  in  everything else."—"Principles! of Political Economy," book 3, chap. 1.
I might fill all the space of this article with quotations  from political  economists of note to the
same effect.    It is sufficient for my purpose that
Ave recognize the necessity of a study of Value and
a clear conception of what Value means.
It is the purpose of this and the following articles to call attention to the study of Value. There
has been no term in the science of economics which
has caused so much confusion of thought. Indeed,
Jevons states that:
'' I must, in the first place, point out the thoroughly ambiguous and unscientific character of
the term value "—"Theory of Political Economy," p. 76.
This ambiguity and complexity has been recognized by all economists, but their analysis has only,
for the most part, rendered confusion worse confounded. Mill, with his inveterate eclecticism,
contrives, on this point of value to make one page
carefully contradict another, but is bold enough to
"Happily, there is nothing in the laws of
Value whicii remains for the present or any
future writer to clear up; , the theory of the
subject is complete."—"Principles of Political
Economy," book 3, chap. 1.
Be that as it may, I shall endeavor, in the following articles to analyse, with care and without prejudice, the various theories of Value which have
been advanced from time to time,  in  order that
we may arrive at as clear a conception as is possible, of this important phase of political economy.
Next Article: "The Classical School."
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